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Indoor range 38 spc fodder question

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by bikemutt, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

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    Looking to stock up on range fodder for our 38 special wheel guns. It seems as if non-jacketed ammo is cheaper than jacketed, is there a reason to pay more for jacketed? The range we shoot at allows both. We shoot modern revolvers like S&Ws and Rugers.

    Thanks.
     
  2. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    Depends on how much you want to clean your barrels.
     
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  3. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  4. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    If, by “non-jacketed”, you mean lead, then yes, to me there is, since lead is Smokey and typically dirty. The smoke alone would be an issue for me in an indoor range. I’d certainly shoot plated bullets if the ammo was cheaper.
     
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  5. jimherb

    jimherb Member

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    I prefer wadcutters. You?
     
  6. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    For indoors, a clean burn is nice; lead with lube tends to be smokey.

    Coated lead should be as clean as plated or jacketed. I suggest buying a small lot and doing a thorough accuracy test before you order a pallet.
     
  7. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

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    Thanks team, I'll stick with FMJ bullets. We just like to have family fun shooting, no competition, no pressure. Better to spend a few extra cents and enjoy the ride.
     
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  8. Nathanael_Greene

    Nathanael_Greene Member

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    Me too. Old-fashioned, but they work for me.
     
  9. 340PD

    340PD Member

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    Personally, I have a distaste for scrubbing lead out of the bore of a revolver so I would only shoot FMJ's

    Being a handloader, I fired my last lead round thirty years ago and never looked back. I load only copper plated bullets but did try a few powder coated bullets but found them to be very smelly and nowhere as clean as plated or FMJ.
     
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  10. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    If you handload your own, go to HyTek coated lead. A lot cheaper than jacketed. Also cheaper than plated and in my opinion, its as accurate as any and it shoots as clean. I love the old swaged Lead HBWC for target shooting and it is arguably the most accurate bullet out there at leas in the .38 but I've found that the Coated bullets to be almost as accurate and so much cleaner to load and shoot that I'm willing to make that little sacrifice.
     
  11. NoirFan

    NoirFan Member

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    For 38 special range ammo, I like to stockpile a medium power lead semi wad cutter. If you handload, 4.5 grains HP38 will get you there. Very accurate and moderate recoil. For a +p load, try the same bullet with a max charge of HS6 with a mag primer.

    I find that a good lead bullet load is slightly more accurate than a jacketed or plated bullet all things being equal. Plus lead is cheaper and just seems right in a revolver.
     
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  12. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Indoors, I'll shoot mostly 130 grain FMJs (seems to be the most common factory .38 range load), as noted by several, you don't want the smoke. However, much prefer 158 grain lead WCs and SWCs given the choice.
     
  13. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I'm not a fan of the cheap FMJ .38 Special ammunition. It's equivalent to the wretched GI .38 Special ball.

    When I was shooting a lot, I loaded all of my own .38 Special ammunition, usually with 148gr. DEWCs. For service equivalents, I use 158gr. LSWCs. I've had bad experiences with plated bullets and won't use them. I stick with lead.
     
  14. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I used to use lead, but when I joined a new range that didn't allow lead bullets, I switched to using Berry's plated. WOW. I had no idea they'd be that much easier to clean up after. I wouldn't go back to lead if someone supplied them (and the range would allow it).

    The plated don't cost much more than I was paying for lead either.
     
  15. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    A small public service note here:
    If you have a revolver that has the correct sized cylinder throats (all six of them!!) for the size of the barrel, shooting lead projectiles of the correct size will not lead the barrel. Many (most) revolvers have undersized throats with respect to barrel fitment and the lead bullets will flame cut and lead the barrel like crazy. Undersized jacketed, plated , or coated do not do this. I have had to ream the throats of almost all my revolvers and now experience NO leading. You can use a piece of Chore Boy (make sure it is all copper, not plated steel) wrapped around a cleaning brush and a couple trips down the barrel will remove all that lead easily. No scrubbing for me.:cool: The small amount of smoke I will deal with for the added accuracy. YMMV
    ETA I find the plated now cost almost what the cheap FMJ cost while the lead if purchased in bulk still are a substantial savings over them both.
     
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